Will Iran nuclear deal prevent future war?

Iran-Nuclear-DealAfter what the Washington Post reports as “nearly two years of intense, and largely secret, negotiations,” a deal from the P5+1 was reached last week. Congress now has 60 days to review the deal. Since the negotiations were secret, and details are scant, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding or outright misinformation about the deal. In saying the deal is the best proposal on the table, Reason.com reports, “[security hawks will] say that [the deal] won’t prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon — and they’ll be right. They’ll say that it’ll help Iran build its conventional weapons program – and they’ll be right. They’ll say that Iran will never fully honor its word — even as the West lifts sanctions against it, and they’ll probably be right about that too.”

Is Reason.com correct that the deal won’t prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon? Yes and no. According to various sources:

  • Iran will give up about 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges.
  • Iran will give up 97% of its enriched uranium; it will hold on to only 300 kilograms’ worth.
  • Iran will be forbidden from enriching uranium beyond energy-grade fuel, or 3.67% enrichment. (Weapons-grade uranium is 90% enriched.)
  • Iran will destroy or export the core of its plutonium plant at Arak, and replace it with a new core that cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium. It will ship out all spent nuclear fuel.
  • After 15 years of restraint on its nuclear activities mandated by the agreement, Iran will no longer be subject to international inspections.
  • If Iran violates any aspect of the deal, sanctions from the US, EU & UN will be automatically re-imposed.
  • It’s theoretically possible that after fifteen years of producing 3.67% energy-grade uranium, that Iran will suddenly begin enriching uranium to 90% and produce a nuclear weapon, however, it seems unlikely. It’s also theoretically possible that a Republican President could decide that the P5+1 deal is not harsh enough on Iran and re-institute sanctions, or simply invade based on the Bush Doctrine, which seems more plausible given the fact that most of the GOP Presidential hopefuls have come out against the deal.

    Without seeing the full details of the deal, I reluctantly support it because it lifts sanctions which only serve to harm the people of a country, not the government. In regards to the claim that the deal allows Iran to build nuclear weapons, I ask: since the US is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in war; why should the US government get to decide who is allowed to own such a weapon?

    1 Comment
    1. Let’s not forget that we did not get any of our prisoners/hostages back in this deal. The consensus among international policy analysts is that this was a weak deal at best on the part of the US. At worst this is exactly what Iran needs to finish their nuclear program.

      If Iran does get a nuke, at the very least we have to fingerprint materials so they never fall into the hands of radical groups.